Thursday, September 13, 2007

I miss her already

Some writers and singers become my friends. I feel that we know each other. They share a portion of their lives with me and they say things which speak directly to my heart, often at exactly the right time. They are a gift from God and I truly hear God speaking to me through their words or songs. Maybe other people do not experience this, but for me there is something transcendent that happens. It becomes part of a larger picture and serves a larger purpose than just being good writing. I think that is one of the greatest things about the arts. I want my own artistic expression to be a vehicle towards something larger and truer. But back to the writers. One in particular was a great help to me as I was going through transition and uncertainty and emotional distress back in the early 80's. Madeleine L'Engle had several non-fiction books called the Crosswicks journals along with a couple of other books which helped pull me through. The book I am fondest of from that time is Walking on Water. It is about faith and art and inspired and encouraged me in many ways. Madeleine L'Engle died a few days ago. I felt sad when I read about it, but strangely happy thinking about her new surroundings and remembering how much she impacted my life with her writing.

"Goodbye, old friend. And thank you."


Why do I take a bunch of books on trips? They usually come back with markers on the same page as when they got packed to go. I'm doing it again. This time I will have at least a week of sitting in the hospital and some amount of time in a motel room. Surely I will be able to get something read. Since I can't decide on one book, five are going. I will be with my mom while my dad has surgery and then we will likely take shifts if we need to stay in the room with him at night after the initial period in intensive care. So, I will have my printed companions along for the more lengthy stays. I really don't like TV and I'm hoping it's not on 24/7. That could make me a little crazy.

The books that will travel with me:
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (borrowed from my friend)
Creativity, Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (whew what a name), a book I found today at Borders while looking for a different book on the brain
and a pocket Sudoku book (I am not at all into this, but am going to give it a try in order to exercise my brain.)
If you have read any of these, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought.